Ritalin and Falls

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The September 2013 issue of Nurse.com Magazine cited a recent study released by Ben Gurion University which stated that “researchers have discovered that a single dose of methylphenidate (MPH), used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, helps to improve balance control during walking, hence reducing the risk of falls among elderly adults”. They posit that the results may in part be due to the improved attention brought about by the medication, but they also say that the MPH, also known as Ritalin, actually has “a direct influence on areas of the brain that deal with motor and balance control” (Ben Gurion University). This could be an encouraging breakthrough for our senior population for whom falls are the leading cause of injuries resulting in emergency hospital admissions and accidental deaths.